Wednesday, May 04, 2005

''American Idol'' -- Did They Kill Scott With Kindness?

I said in a blog yesterday that my predictions are usually bad, and last night sure proved it. Most of the day I was convinced either Anthony (who was at the bottom of my Tuesday rankings) or Vonzell would be gone from ''Idol.'' Then, when I was making notes for a column for Thursday, I began writing as if Scott was gone. Naw, I thought, not this week. He was better than usual this week. So I started writing as if he had won and Anthony was getting voted off. Shows how smart I am.
I know that there is a considerable amount of screaming going on right now from Scott's fans and foes. As I have said here before, I had several other singers I preferred over him. And since those singers are also gone, I'm not terribly interested in who wins or loses. So there's no point in rehashing whether Scott was good enough to win or not.
Still, looking back at Tuesday night, I did think once again about the way ''Idol'' can change audience perceptions. (To me, that's a lot more interesting than anything Corey Clark is claiming on ''PrimeTime Live'' right now. I have the interview on while I'm writing this and I'm already skeptical; anyone who attaches significance to Paula's looking flirtatiously at a contestant has not seen the zillion or so other contestants she has given the same look.)
Scott had become a lightning rod on the show, both the victim and the beneficiary of his blue-collar looks, his troubled past and the on-air sniping from Simon. All those things can create enormous sympathy for a contestant, and maybe even keep one around longer than a musical judgment alone would suggest. A week ago, Scott went Top Three after Simon told him to pack his bags, and that comment alone could have galvanized a lot of voters on Scott's behalf.
This week, the show portrayed Scott in much more glowing terms. Sure, he sang better, but that doesn't always mean much to the judges. The kind comments did keep Scott from seeming like a victim -- and he may have miscalculated when he was defiant to Simon when Simon was treating him relatively gently. Add to that the damage Scott's regular-guy image takes when he starts talking about his fashion coordinator.
And is it also possible that, by singing better, Scott hurt himself? I don't think that stuff helped him much (and I haven't even been able to access that site tonight), but when Scott is not terrible, it's harder to get pranksters to say, "Yeah, he stinks, let's vote for him.''
All that may just be wild theorizing, I know. But one of the attractions of ''Idol'' from the beginning has been trying to figure out why some contestants stay and some go -- what quirk of personality overwhelmed a good singing voice, what looks made a bad voice more appealing, what do the producers want, what special-interest groups are putting their votes behind a given contestant. So I'm happy to spin theories about Scott -- and it passes the time while waiting for one of the remaining singers gives a goosebumps-raising performance.


Blogger scum97 said...

Go, Carrie!!!!

11:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home